Local Agencies Helping Uninsured Sign Up For Health Care

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(Memphis) Chances are, you don’t have health insurance or you know someone that doesn't.

In Memphis, there are about 88,000 people who don't have help when it comes to paying for medicine or visiting a doctor. That startling number jumps way up to 143,000 when you consider all of Shelby County.

All of those people have to sign up to take advantage of the affordable healthcare act over the next six months.

Starting next week, everyone who is uninsured can start shopping for federally-mandated healthcare, but the quest to nail down a perfect health insurance plan and how it will work is confusing many.

“People want to know, ‘what does this mean for me?’" said Lisa Pote, who is with the non-profit Seedco.

She heads a $2 million statewide project to help the nearly half a million uninsured Tennesseans.

Pote says the goal is to “number one, to make sure as many Tennesseans as possible have the info they need to make good decision about the marketplace. Secondly, to help them do it."

The group is working with a handful of agencies across the city where you can go into an office and register with an actual person.

But Pote says, it's just as easy to head online to www.healthcare.gov and use the site. It launches October First.

The city is also on board in this mission to get people signed up for healthcare.

“Affordable healthcare has always been just past people's grasp. The idea that starting October 1, we’ll have the opportunity for individuals to get health care, it's very exciting,” said City of Memphis spokesman Bobby White.

Monday afternoon, the city will host a rally at the main library from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

You can speak to someone face to face and get answers.

But Pote says with so many uninsured and just six months to get signed up, it would be impossible if people just relied on the handful of staffers helping people register.

She says if you can, help your family members, friends, and neighbors.

"This initiative has to belong to everybody,” said Pote.

To visit Seedco’s website and find out where you can get help, click here.